If you are not a client of a universal brokerage office, then you may have to open a separate account with a broker trading futures if you want to trade in goods or other types of futures. Brokers who trade in futures must be licensed by NAD, and to obtain such a license, a procedure different from that held by stock brokers is required. Many of the direct access brokers provide futures trading services, while discount brokers do not provide such services. We will talk more about licensing in Chapter 20, and about futures trading in Chapter 18.
You can not choose for yourself a broker based only on how much his services will cost you. You should know what types of services brokers offer their clients and to what extent the set of services offered by each particular broker corresponds to the types of trades in which you intend to participate. Evaluating those or other brokersyou must find out the types of orders they support, can they provide the data you are interested in, what types of schemes do they provide to their customers and can they give you access to ECN if you want to perform stock purchase / sale transactions electronically.